Even Better than the Real Thing? Digital Copies and Digital Museums in a Digital Cultural Policy


  • Ole Marius Hylland Telemark Research Institute




Digitization, digital museums, cultural policy, reproduction


This article investigates how a digital turn and digital copies have influenced ideas, roles and authorities within a national museum sector. It asks whether digital mu-seums and their digital reproductions expand and/or challenge a traditional cul-tural policy. Two specific cases are highlighted to inform the discussion on these questions – the Norwegian digital museum platform DigitaltMuseum and Google Art Project. The article argues that there is a certain epochalism at play when the impact of a digital turn is analysed. At the same time, some clear major changes are taking place, even if their impact on cultural policies might be less than expec-ted. I propose that one of the changes is the replacing of authenticity with accessi-bility as the primary legitimating value of museum objects.

Author Biography

Ole Marius Hylland, Telemark Research Institute

Senior Researcher


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Theorizing Copies